SOUTH BERWICK — Marshwood High made it clear Friday night: It is the dominant force in Class B South football.

Facing Kennebunk, the one league foe that has consistently been able to stand up to the two-time defending champs, the Hawks rolled to a 48-14 win.

Marshwood gained 519 yards, and the first-team offense scored touchdowns on all six of its possessions. The defense pitched a first-half shutout and held the explosive Rams to 203 yards.

Justin Bryant runs down the field as his teammates block in the first half. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

“I just don’t think anyone else puts in as much work as us during practice, honestly,” said Marshwood senior captain Justin Bryant, who ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries from his fullback spot. “We’re running hundreds of plays every day. Getting better every day. Everyone’s putting in the work. It’s not just some of us, and it really shows out there.”

Marshwood improved to 6-1, its only loss coming at Class A Thornton Academy, 28-27. Marshwood will officially claim the No. 1 playoff seed if it beats Noble in the regular-season finale. Kennebunk (5-2) will need to beat Biddeford to finish second.

Kennebunk had won three of the past five meetings. Last season the Rams won 17-14 at South Berwick (Marshwood’s only loss to a Class B team since 2017) during the regular season but lost a 14-13 heartbreaker in the regional final.

This time, Kennebunk couldn’t keep pace.

Ryan Connors of Kennebunk tackles Connor Caverly in the open field on a long run. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

“We were outplayed. The so-called trenches, where it all happens, they beat us pretty good,” said Kennebunk Coach Joe Rafferty. “They just got after us right from the get-go. I thought they were quicker off the ball than I’d seen them.”

Marshwood quarterback Connor Caverly completed 5 of 7 passes for 81 yards, including three third-down conversions, and rushed for 40 yards.

“I think we were all excited for this game; it was going to be a big one for us,” Caverly said. “We came out ready to play and we had fun tonight. I think our team right now, we’re at a spot where if we all do what we’re supposed to do, I think we can do big things this year.”

Bryant scored the first two touchdowns. Cameron Cornett’s 61-yard run finished a 99-yard drive for a 21-0 lead. Cornett also had a 60-yard kickoff return that set up the Hawks’ sixth touchdown. John Valentine scored on runs of 16 and 12 yards and finished with 59 of the Hawks’ 438 rushing yards.

Ryan Connors of Kennebunk tries to grab hold of Cameron Cornett of Marshwood as he returns a kick down the sideline in the second half. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Bryant’s backup, Ethan Rockafellow, had a 29-yard TD run. Rockafellow also made the night’s biggest defensive play in the second quarter.

After Cornett’s touchdown, Kennebunk’s Jack Andrews returned the kickoff 60 yards to the Marshwood 30. The Rams picked up one first down, but on second down, Rockafellow came on a linebacker blitz, met David York three yards deep in the backfield and caused and a fumble, which he recovered.

Marshwood quickly went 79 yards in six plays, with Bryant busting a 38-yard run that he broke outside on a dive-action play as left guard Charles McMann and left tackle Zach Mercier collapsed the containment. Valentine scored on a sweep left, again behind a wall of blockers.

Steve Craig — 207-791-6413

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Twitter: @SteveCCraig

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